Animal Heroes: Tara The Attack Cat
I have a rock on my front steps that reads, "Warning: Attack Cat On Duty." People take this as a joke, but my cat and I know better. On Tuesday a cat named Tara proved it to the whole world that cats are loyal animals who guard their loved ones. When a neighbor's dog attacked her boy she took the pooch to task and sent him running.
It all started when 4-year-old Jeremy was innocently riding his tricycle in the driveway of his family's home in Bakersfield, California. The neighbor's guard dog noticed him and took offense, darted around the family car, and attacked the child's leg, dragged him to the pavement, and began shaking him violently.
Suddenly, seemingly from out of nowhere, there was a flash of bristling black fur. The dog released his hold on Jeremy and started running from the ire and claws of Tara, the boy's feline protector. She continued after the dog until she was satisfied that he had left the area sufficiently cowed. Then she returned to check on Jeremy.
Jeremy's mother also came running and the neighbor, who had been backing out of the gated driveway when the dog escaped, called 911. Everything had happened so fast that Erica and Roger, Jeremy's parents, didn't know what Tara had done until they reviewed their security camera footage. There they had the proof of their cat's extraordinary bravery.
Jeremy was injured and needed a number of stitches from two deep bites on his leg. It could have been so much worse if Tara had not been there.
The dog has been voluntarily turned over to animal control for observtion while a decision is made about the animal's fate following the incident.
Tara adopted Erika and Roger Triantafilo five years ago after following them home from the park. When Jeremy was born Tara took to him immediately and would curl up to sleep with him in his crib.
This unusually strong bond between a toddler and a cat certainly paid off. Jeremy now refers to Tara as his hero. It seems that the Triantafilo family needs a warning sign now too.
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger